Land Rover's voyage for Discovery

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

It was as if Land Rover had asked a five-year-old boy how it should launch its new Discovery concept car.
It needs to be on an aircraft carrier! Check. It needs to be in a cool city like New York! Gotcha. Oh, and there needs to be a space ship there too! Roger that.

And so it was: The world's motoring media assembled on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid, moored up next to the Manchester City FC owner's £400m super yacht on the Hudson River, ready for the unveiling of Land Rover's all-important new Discovery Vision Concept.

The doyen of farmers and yummy mummies across Britain is long due replacement, and with this huge stunt Land Rover pulled out all the stops to ensure the 4x4 cast one big British-built shadow over this Wednesday's New York Motor Show.

And it wasn't just the new car the manufacturer was revealing – nope, there was an intergalactic message in there too. Before we even saw the new car, Land Rover announced that it has become the official partner of Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space explorer.

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept unveiling
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Land Rover's voyage for Discovery

Land Rover says the tie-up is a "marriage of two of Britain's most iconic brands" while Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, noticeable by his absence, seemed content the two firms' exploration spirit had been combined into one.

Cynics may suggest this was simply a way of launching a car next to a space ship – but then what most five-year-old boys want, five-year-old boys get...

Look past the space race marketing strategy and in the shadows is the real star – the new Discovery.

Designer Gerry McGovern explained that this concept points towards the future direction the Discovery "family" will take. No longer will the Disco be a sole diva, but in the years to come further models will join the range as the Evoque did for the Range Rover model line.

We got the chance to have a peak round the media scrum at the concept and it's strikingly large – Range Rover large, in fact. It debuts some beautiful design touches at the front, suicide rear doors and a luxurious interior.

McGovern explained the car also features augmented reality technology that allows drivers to "see through" the bonnet, while doors, indicators and headlamps are all operated with gestures, not touch.

The car is currently billed simply as a concept, but rumours suggest this is very close to production ready – and with sleek looks like this there are few that'd bet against it being another stellar hit.

Click play below to hear Richard Branson discuss Virgin's partnership with Land Rover.

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